Windmills Turn The Tables On Renewable Energy

October 22, 2008

When someone mentions “renewable energy,” what comes to mind? Solar panels on a roof? Biodiesel-powered cars? The term covers several technologies that could power the green economy of the future. However, one type of renewable energy is beginning to emerge as the best alternative to fossil fuels: wind power.

A 2007 report by the Global Wind Energy Council estimated that wind power generated 94 gigawatts of electricity worldwide, up from just 7.6 gigawatts in 1997. They project that by 2012, this number will be closer to 240 gigawatts.

Experts consider U.S. energy policy

October 17, 2008

An old adage says there are two sides to every story; yesterday evening, a public forum on United States energy policy proved a caveat to that truth. Four expert panelists representing climate science, legislative policy, economics and industry spoke about the priorities they believe will best serve the next president.
Given the proximity to what many consider a critical election, the forum provided important background information and answers to the UW community and the general public.

New course leads to student contest for environmental solutions

October 16, 2008

A new "Environmental Innovation Practicum" course, offered this quarter, will be a springboard for a universitywide competition that will encourage students to develop practical solutions to environmental problems.
The two-credit course, which is the first activity sponsored by the new College of the Environment, will acquaint students with key concepts through case studies presented by speakers representing the public and private sectors. The theme for this year's course is water.

Biotour Encourages New Thinking On Fuel

May 12, 2008

A bus running on vegetable oil was parked near By George Café last week as part of the national BioTour, and a bluegrass band performed on top of the bus by plugging their amps into its solar panels.

The UW chapter of the Washington Student Public Interest Research Group (WashPIRG) booked the bus for a tour stop and invited the student band Old Technology to play a concert on top of it. Though WashPIRG members were a majority of the audience, the curiosity turned more than a few heads and attracted Tukwila School District students who were touring the campus.

UW Pushes Forward With Biodiesel

February 6, 2008

“The use of biofuels, particularly biodiesel, is in the news, and many people have been asking, ‘What is the Motor Pool doing?” according to the Motor Pool newsletter.

The University currently uses B5 in their diesel-powered vehicles. “B5” is a classification of biodiesel that consists of 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent petroleum diesel. The UW Motor Pool has been using B5 since the fall of 2006, when a biodiesel pump was installed at the motor vehicle depot.

UW To Expand Tidal Power Research

May 24, 2007

Renewable energy sources are a hot topic right now as the finite supply of fossil fuels rapidly dwindles. The scientific community is turning to alternate sources of energy, including wind, solar and now, possibly tidal energy.

The UW has signed an agreement with the Snohomish County Public Utilities District (PUD) to study tidal currents in Puget Sound, investigating sites where underwater turbines might use these currents to generate power.

Running On Grease

October 29, 2002

If you happen to be jogging through the wetlands on any given afternoon, you might see some strange-looking activities occurring in the far northeast corner of campus. In a small, open-sided structure, a dedicated group of students are attempting to revolutionize the way we fill up our gas tanks.

It might sound funny, but it is possible to power a diesel engine with no petroleum products whatsoever. This is the direction that the Urban Sustainability Group (Ursus) would like to see society moving in.